The validity of an advertising campaign entitled "NOS Presents | A generation without limits", where a mobile 5G communications tariff was promoted as limitless ("unlimited mobile data, calls and SMS"), was assessed by the Portuguese Self-Regulation entity on Advertisement.
The dispute involved two telecommunications operators: NOS SGPS S.A. (henceforth "NOS"), the creator of the campaign, and MEO – Serviço de Telecomunicações e Multimédia, S.A. (henceforth "MEO"). MEO considered that the use of the expression "limitless" associated with the 5G technology could disrespect the principle of truthfulness. Indeed, considering that the 5G technology is not yet available in the market, it could mislead the consumer to believe that NOS already offers the features of such technology.
By its turn, NOS argued that the availability of the 5G in Portugal is "imminent" and this paradigm change cannot be overlooked. In this regard, NOS argued that the campaign is merely "intended to promote a new mobile communications tariff focused on the near future, as it aims to meet the widely publicised and publicly recognised technological evolution". Therefore, the campaign does not encourage the consumer to subscribe an existing tariff offering the 5G technology.
At first instance, the Advertising Ethics Jury of the Self-Regulation entity decided in favour of MEO's position. However, on appeal, the Appeal Commission decided that "there is absolutely no breach of the duty to act truthfully – NOS stated that it was ready for 5G and there is no reason to question the reliability of such a statement."
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